150 Ronald Reagan Quotes

These Ronald Reagan quotes are the best pieces of advice you can ask for when you’re in need of some motivation. In this collection, we’re highlighting 150 of his most famous lines that are sure to help you achieve what you want to in life.

Ronald Reagan was an actor, a governor of California, and the 40th President of the United States. The collection below will give you a sneak peek of his career and the lessons he learned—from growing up in a middle-class family to eventually being remembered as one of the strongest leaders in America during a time of crisis and adversity.

Let’s get started.

Best Ronald Reagan Quotes

1. “Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.”

2. “The most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”

3. “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”

4. “You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by his way of eating jellybeans.”

5. “Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.”

6. “The government exists to protect us from each other.”

7. “Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They’re just braver five minutes longer.”

8. “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

9. “I have left orders to be awakened at any time during national emergency, even if I’m in a cabinet meeting.”

10. “A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.”

11. “There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

12. “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.”

13. “If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be one nation gone under.”

14. “We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.”

15. “Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the democrats believe every day is April 15.”

16. “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”

17. “As the government expands, liberty contracts.”

18. “I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph, and there is purpose and worth to each and every life.”

19. “I’ve heard that hard work never killed anyone, but I say, ‘Why take the chance?’”

Ronald Reagan Quotes on the Greatness of America

20. “America is too great for small dreams.”

21. “All great change in America begins at the dinner table.”

22. “These young Americans sent a message to terrorists everywhere—you can run, but you can’t hide.”

23. “While I take inspiration from the past, like most Americans, I live for the future.”

24. “In this springtime of hope, some lights seem eternal; America’s is.”

25. “For the average American, the message is clear. Liberalism is no longer the answer. It is the problem.”

26. “We should rise above bitterness and reproach, and if Americans could come together in a spirit of understanding and helping, then we could find positive solutions to the tragedy of abortion.”

27. “A few months ago, I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions tell me that’s true, but the facts and evidence tell me it is not.”

28. “Let us not forget who we are. Drug abuse is a repudiation of everything America is.”

29. “America is, and always will be, a shining city on a hill.”

30. “It seems to me that America is constantly reinventing what ‘America’ means.”

31. “America will never be whole as long as the right to life granted by our Creator is denied to the unborn.”

32. “What would this country be without this great land of ours?”

33. “Someday, the realm of liberty and justice will encompass the planet.”

34. “Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.”

Ronald Reagan Quotes on Liberty and Government

35. “Democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man.”

36. “The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases—if it moves, tax it; if it keeps moving, regulate it; and if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

37. “Status quo, you know, is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in.’”

38. “The Government is not a solution to our problem. The government is the problem.”

39. “Our natural, inalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation from government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment.”

40. “The government does not solve problems. It subsidizes them.”

41. “No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth!”

42. “The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference, or less centralized authority, or more individual freedom; and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.”

43. “The federal government did not create the states; the states created the federal government.”

44. “The government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.”

45. “I don’t believe in a government that protects us from ourselves.”

46. “Governments don’t produce economic growth—people do.”

47. “People don’t start wars, governments do.”

48. “We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around.”

49. “Nothing lasts longer than a temporary government program.”

50. “The best minds are not in government. If any were, businesses would steal them away.”

51. “The government always finds a need for whatever money it gets.”

52. “Our government needs the church, because only those humble enough to admit they’re sinners can bring democracy the tolerance it requires to survive.”

53. “If more government is the answer, then it was a really stupid question.”

54. “Remember that every government service, every offer of government, financed security, is paid for in the loss of personal freedom.”

55. “The government is like a baby—an alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”

56. “Socialism only works in two places—heaven where they don’t need it, and hell where they already have it.”

57. “Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.”

58. “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me.”

59. “I want you to know that I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

60. “If freedom, democracy, and the rights of man are to be preserved through the ages, free men and women must accept the responsibilities that go with their freedoms.”

61. “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”

62. “Socialists ignore the side of man that is the spirit.”

63. “I’m no linguist, but I have been told that in the Russian language, there isn’t even a word for freedom.”

64. “But Nancy is right—Presidents don’t have vacations—they just have a change of scenery.”

Ronald Reagan Quotes on Religion and Welfare

65. “The First Amendment of the Constitution was not written to protect the people of this country from religious values; it was written to protect religious values from government tyranny.”

66. “Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.”

67. “Freedom is not just the birthright of the few, it is the God-given right of all His children, in every country.”

68. “Welfare’s purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.”

69. “They don’t subscribe to our sense of morality; they don’t believe in an afterlife; they don’t believe in a God or religion. And the only morality they recognize, therefore, is what will advance the cause or socialism.”

70. “We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief. Nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate.”

71. “We should measure welfare’s success by how many people leave welfare, not by how many are added.”

72. “We are never defeated unless we give up on God.”

73. “Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.”

74. “I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress.”

75. “The miracle of life is given by the One greater than ourselves; but once given, each life is ours to nurture and preserve—to foster, not only for today’s world, but for a better one to come.”

76. “Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States.”

77. “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber, and as deadly as a hitman.”

78. “I don’t think we’ll solve the problem of the deficit until three things happen—we need more discipline on spending in Congress; we need a constitutional amendment requiring Congress to balance the budget; and we need to give our presidents a line-item veto.”

79. “Here’s my strategy on the Cold War—we win, they lose.”

Ronald Reagan Quotes on Wisdom and Values

80. “The future doesn’t belong to the light-hearted. It belongs to the brave.”

81. “The size of the federal budget is not an appropriate barometer of social conscience or charitable concern.”

82. “Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards. If you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book.”

83. “We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we will always be free.”

84. “It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.”

85. “If you analyze it, I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.”

86. “Don’t be afraid to see what you see.”

87. “Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.”

88. “A hippie is someone who looks like Tarzan, walks like Jane, and smells like a cheetah.”

89. “You can’t tax businesses. Businesses don’t pay taxes. It collects taxes.”

90. “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.”

91. “Here you discover that so long as books are kept open, then minds can never be closed.”

92. “If there’s one observation that rings true in today’s changing world, it is that freedom and peace go hand in hand.”

93. “Unemployment insurance is a pre-paid vacation for freeloaders.”

94. “If history teaches anything, it teaches that self-delusion, in the face of unpleasant facts, is folly.”

95. “Morality, in the long run, aligned with strategy.”

96. “A picture is worth 1,000 denials.”

97. “Facts are stupid things.”

98. “If we love our country, we should also love our countrymen.”

99. “Freedom is not free.”

100. “Life and the preservation of freedom to live it in dignity is what we are on this Earth to do.”

101. “Freedom is one of the deepest and noblest aspirations of the human spirit.”

102. “Trust, but verify.”

103. “We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together—that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace.”

104. “A tree’s a tree. How many more do you need to look at?”

105. “How can a president not be an actor?”

106. “You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery.”

107. “There can be no freedom without order, and there is no order without virtue.”

108. “We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life—the unborn—without diminishing the value of all human life.”

109. “There is no humanity or charity in destroying self-reliance, dignity, and self-respect.”

110. “Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?”

111. “We think there is a parallel between federal involvement in education and the decline in profit over recent years.”

112. “Radio was the theater of the mind.”

113. “But our strategy for peace with freedom must also be based on strength—economic strength and military strength.”

114. “Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid.”

Ronald Reagan Quotes on Our Role in Society

115. “On the fundamental dignity of the human person, there can be no relenting!”

116. “My philosophy of life is that if we make up our minds, what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose—somehow we win out.”

117. “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem.”

118. “To sit back hoping that someday, someway, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last—but eat you he will.”

119. “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”

120. “History is a ribbon, always unfurling; history is a journey. And as we continue our journey, we think of those who traveled before us. We stand together again at the steps of this symbol of our democracy—or we would have been standing at the steps if it hadn’t gotten so cold.”

121. “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”

122. “Life is one grand sweet song, so start the music.”

123, “If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.”

124. “I’ve always believed that a lot of the trouble in the world would disappear if we were talking to each other instead of about each other.”

125. “A people free to choose will always choose peace.”

126. “Ending a conflict is not so simple, not just calling it off and coming home. Because the price for that kind of peace could be a thousand years of darkness for generation’s Viet Nam borned.”

127. “Never let the things you can’t do stop you from doing what you can.”

128. “There are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits to the human capacity for intelligence, imagination, and wonder.”

129. “If you think you can, you can!”

130. “If you’re explaining, you’re losing.”

131. “There is no purpose more noble than for us to sustain and celebrate life in a turbulent world, and that is what we must do now. We have no higher duty, no greater cause as humans.”

132. “I do not want to go back to the past; I want to go back to the past way of facing the future.”

133. “I spoke to ears that refused to hear.”

134. “Just think how happy you’d be if you lost everything you have right now and then got it back.”

135. “There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.”

136. “We fought a war on poverty, and poverty won.”

137. “If politics were a musical, it would be, ‘Promises, Promises.’”

138. “I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world.”

139. “I was not a great communicator, but I communicated great things.”

140. “Information is the oxygen of the modern age.”

141. “Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.”

142. “Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.”

143. “If we’re free to dare, and we are; if we’re free to give, and we are; then we’re free to shape the future and have within our grasp all that we dream the future will be.”

144. “It is up to us in our time to choose—and choose wisely—between the hard but necessary task of preserving peace and freedom, and the temptation to ignore our duty and blindly hope for the best while the enemies of freedom grow stronger day by day.”

145. “The key for any speaker is to establish his own point of view for the audience, so they can see the game through his eyes.”

146. “You can’t help those who simply will not be helped.”

147. “Preparing for the future must begin, as always, with our children. We need to set for them new and more rigorous goals.”

148. “I don’t believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing.”

149. “Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we’ve ever known.”

150. “Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement.”

Did These Ronald Reagan Quotes Reshape Your Perspective?

Ronald Reagan opened our eyes to a world of possibilities and the steps we have to take in order to turn those possibilities into realities. Through him, we learn that the most important things to remember include understanding the power of optimism and humor, fighting and acting towards our vision, and sustaining our perspective and good judgement. We will never fail if we know the right path to take, and if we persevere until the end.

Did your vision and goals become clearer after reading this collection? What’s the next step you’ll be taking toward achieving your goals? Let’s discuss them in the comments section below.

Amy Finn

Hi. I'm Amy, the founder of this blog. I love quotes and enjoy sharing the best ones with you.

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